Eatery offers Southern take on seafood

A La Carte Columns

January 11, 2016

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

The creators of Kickin’ Kajun no longer are affiliated with the Makaloa Street restaurant, but recently have taken on a new venture, opening up Crab Bucket on the corner of Keeaumoku and Young streets.

The first to bring the Cajun concept to Hawaii (starting at Kickin’ Kajun), avid traveler, food lover and Crab Bucket owner Lyna Nguyen carries secret recipes and finesses Cajun and Asian-style cuisine at the seafood eatery, which recently celebrated its second year in business. The Vietnam native has lived on the East Coast, overseas and in Southern states like Louisiana — no doubt where she picked up an eclectic passion for food, especially seafood and Cajun fare.

Here in the Islands, locals are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try various types of cuisine from all around the world, including Crab Bucket’s unique offerings such as Salt and Pepper Frog Legs ($16) and Fried Alligator ($15). The menu also includes less-adventurous, but still original and delicious, dishes too.

The restaurant’s best seller is Bucket No. 1. ($50 regular, $30 happy hour), a combo meal that features snow crab, crawfish, shrimp and clams. Also included with every combo are corn on the cob, potatoes, sausages and rice.

For added flavor, enjoy Crab Bucket’s House Sauce, which is a secret recipe too good to share. Also try Original Louisiana dry mix with your succulent seafood portions, or combine both House Sauce and Garlic Mix for maximum taste.

Other seafood options can be ordered a la carte, with more prized items such as Dungeness crab and lobster sold at market price. The combination buckets and regularly offered a la carte selections — like clams, shrimp and crawfish — are kept at a set price to offer customers quality food at reasonable costs. Crawfish ($14 per pound) in particular is in season until July, with fresh selections arriving frequently in Hawaii.

Throughout the restaurant there are tables covered with disposable paper and a built-in hole for buckets to easily discard shells, tails and peelings. All orders are served in plastic bags or bowls — for those looking for a less messy dining experience.

The staff at Crab Bucket chose to open during the holidays this past year, and realized the abundance of support and appreciation its customers have for the eatery. This has pushed the establishment to continue to serve locals and tourists alike with the best Cajun-style seafood on the island.

Crab Bucket

1020 Keeaumoku St., Ste. 101, Honolulu
Daily, noon-10 p.m.; happy hour: Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best